Sierra Leone - Africa
Sierra Leone possesses significant natural wealth – yet 80% of its people live in extreme poverty. Life expectancy is among the world’s lowest at 48 years, and Ebola has only put greater pressure on an already buckling health system. The crisis has left many unable to access healthcare in a country where malaria and HIV/AIDS threaten thousands. The economy has suffered too, with travel restrictions leaving many impoverished workers unable to get to work.
Children in Sierra Leone
Around 310,000 children are growing up without their parents. 18,000 children have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS; others lost their parents in the civil war.
Many children end up working to support their families, often working in mines or out in the fields.
One in four children is malnourished, many severely.
Illiteracy is among the world’s highest. Less than half of school-age children are in education.
Out of every 1,000 babies, 119 die in their first year.
Numerous children have been orphaned by Ebola and face stigma from their communities. Some are even rejected by their family and have no one to care for them.
Our work in Sierra Leone
We have worked in Sierra Leone since 1974, when we opened our first Children’s Village in the capital, Freetown. Today we have three Villages across the country.
Freetown Village is located on the edge of Sierra Leone's capital city. As well as providing a home for vulnerable children, we provide education to over 1,000 children from within the Village and the surrounding community.
As well as a home for orphaned and abandoned children, the Village in Bo offers support to the community at our nursery and social centre. The SOS social centres in Bo offer family strengthening programmes to the local community. One of the main goals is to ensure that families have access to essential basic amenities such as healthcare, education and food.
The Village at Makeni offers a loving family home to well over 120 orphaned and abandoned children. The children attend the SOS nursery together with children from the neighbourhood. The children then go on to complete their education at the SOS primary school in Makeni, which is attended by around 300 pupils.
Family Strenghtening Programmes
During the civil war, SOS Children’s Villages provided food for mothers and children affected by the conflict, as well as medicine, food, clothing and emergency accommodation to refugees fleeing the fighting.
SOS Children’s Village Trust Sierra Leone
Tel: +232 77714499, +232/76/624 064